Welcome to the first iteration of the ACFID Innovation Guide!

Why Innovation?

The Guide builds from ACFID’s Innovation for Impact research, providing practical guidance supporting Australian NGOs to:

  • Adopt processes to drive innovation

  • Unleash untapped potential through building innovation skills

  • Build a culture that fosters long term innovation

  • Test ways to promote innovation

  • Engage with unusual suspects to leverage value and combine capabilities

The ACFID Innovation Guide

Download the Big Kahuna - including an index, an overview of the organisational dimensions of innovation, the pulse check, and the practical tools below.

Innovation Pulse Check: Check in on where your organisation is at in its innovation journey, and where might the biggest opportunities lie for innovation in the coming months!

The Innovation Process

The guide provides practical tools on:

Opportunity: Set the direction of your social innovation project by starting with a strategic area of focus, to ensure all efforts going forward are adding the most value and impact to the organisation and its partners, beneficiaries, supporters and donors.

Discovery: Use exploratory research to engage with your donors, supporters, partners and beneficiaries, to uncover the biggest problem area, within the boundaries of the opportunity, to innovate around.

Ideate: Engage with your stakeholders to generate many diverse solutions and ideas to your identified problem using tools that push people’s creative boundaries.

Experiment: With the help of your partners, supporters, donors and beneficiaries, validate your chosen idea’s underlying assumptions using lean scientifically rigorous tests.

Implement: Realise the value of your efforts by rolling out and scaling your social innovation.

Get in touch: Send any feedback, suggestions or requests to [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you!


ACFID would like to acknowledge that the Innovation Guide was funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Views expressed in the guide are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government.

The Innovation Guide was developed by Stephanie Thoo for ACFID.

The guide is intended to provide general information only and before entering into any particular transaction, users should: rely on their own enquiries, skill and care in using the information; check with primary sources; and seek independent advice.